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Fitzpatrick vs. Moore in round two of District 7 race


Moore wins a big plurality, but unable to gain a majority

Christine Moore

68 days and counting.

Christine Moore and Matthew Fitzpatrick are heading to a November 8th runoff for the Orange County Public School Board's District 7 seat that Moore has held for two terms. Moore won a decisive advantage over her opponents with 8,353 votes, but 45% of the votes was not good enough to avoid a runoff. Fitzpatrick, a newcomer to politics, edged retired educator Isadora Dean with 4,589 votes (25%), to Dean's 4,160 (23%), followed by Laura Rounds with 1,358 votes (7%).

Fitzpatrick, a 23-year veteran of the educational system was understandably excited at the results.

First, I just want to say, "Wow!" I really had no idea how things were going to play out tonight. Tonight was a victory for students, teachers, and parents. The three educators in the race received more combined votes than the incumbent...that's a win for education. I just want to say thanks to all those who contributed to our campaign, shared our Facebook posts, put signs in their yards, and talked to their family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. So many people came together to make it happen. I like to call it the power of "We" over "Me". We're starting to build up some steam. We're learning. I think we're fighting for the right things in education. I think the voters will agree that what we are really advocating for is common sense. I'm looking forward to another 2 months of campaigning and getting our message out. I still have a lot of things that need to be said...and now we have more time to say them."

Moore was appreciative of the turnout and pointed to her results on the school board as the reason for 8,353 supporters voting for her.

"I'm grateful for the outpouring of support," she said. "It is clear the voters recognize the gains and improvements made by the school district in recent years."

Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Dean's third place finish was perhaps the surprise of the election. It was widely expected that her name recognition in Apopka would vault her to at least a second place finish. However she was gracious even with the disappointing result.

"I truly appreciate each and every one who supported and voted for me in our campaign for school board, she said on her Facebook page. "I met some amazing people and formed some lasting friendships. Let us continue our work for students, teachers, support staff and parents."

It would be easy to add non-incumbent votes together and assume Fitzpatrick has an advantage, or to point to 8,000-plus votes for Moore and give her the advantage, but that would be over-simplifying other key elements that will be in play during the November election.

Only 18.14% of Orange County voters (132,684) cast ballots in this primary election. District 7 voters basically followed that trend as well (21,309 votes and a 19.64% turnout). In contrast to a primary election day, the 2012 presidential election had approximately 71% turnout in the state of Florida. 467,303 voters participated in Orange County elections, so the likelihood is that closer to 60,000 District 7 votes will be cast in November. The point is that while the results from this election are a pretty strong sampling of the most devoted voters in District 7, the November 8th election could look very different than August. Another 40,000 or so voters could tilt the results in a lot of different directions.

What is a guarantee is that additional Christine Moore and Matthew Fitzpatrick signs will be going up soon, and the conversation about the Orange County Public School Board will continue.






Christine Moore, Matthew Fitzpatrick, OCPS District 7


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